As an entrepreneur, no one will be there to make sure you put in the work and stick to your deadlines. Focus on your dream, your vision, and mission of the brand. Don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.
Business name, domain name, trademark, bank account, bookkeeping, etc. There are a few things to set up when you launch your business, and you need to stay on top of the administration.
That exciting idea usually starts with: Why doesn’t this exist? I wish I had this type of garment. I need to have … Try to solve common problems and figure out the customer need. Without a need, no one will buy your product.
The products you’re thinking about are styles you would wish to wear, but will someone else want your stuff too? Is there a need for you clothing? Is there a gap in the market?
Before even starting you brand you need to know where you are going and what your plan is. The process is as important as the outcome because once you’re done, it will be obvious what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Branding is the process of building a product image based on associations, feelings, lifestyle, and identity that is projected by a label.
Selling your line will make a profit that you can use to continue working on the next collection. But you will most certainly come to a point where the sales revenue isn’t enough to finance the growth of your company. You will need to look at ways of financing your business and cover the costs until you make enough revenue to pay it back.
There are many roles that need to be filled in your business. As a small apparel brand you can and probably will take on several of them. But ask yourself which roles you actually can fill and which ones you need to outsource.
What do you want your brand and your products to stand for? What is your point of view, your identity, and how does that differentiate from the other designers? When you have that clear, make sure you implement it in every design you do.
The styles should fit in with the vision and identity of your brand. You will have to give the customer the connection between the brand image and the product. They need to correspond.
How do you find material and manufacturers? The material need to tell the same story as the concept and the design. They go hand in hand.
It doesn’t matter how great your design is if the pattern is horribly cut. One thing is to have design lines drawn on a piece of paper, and another is to actually be able to pattern the style. You will have to make a number of prototypes for each style before you can start production.
How do you price your products? How much does it cost to make a garment? We take a look at different strategies and examples.
At the end of your product development cycle it is finally time to sew and make all the garments in larger quantities.
Selling goes hand in hand with marketing,
and it should be integrated in everything you do. We take a look at the most common ways of selling your product.
Receive sales order and place production orders. When are the yearly sales periods?
First you need to transport the garments from the manufacturer to e.g. your office or warehouse and then to your customers.
Marketing should be embedded in the whole company, in everybody that works there, and in everything you do. Everything a company does is marketing.
Pay attention to your customers before, during, and after they purchase from you. Your customers are the best influencers.
Apparel Entrepreneurship is written by Ana & Klas Kristiansson. Ana is a former national athlete with education from cutting and tailoring school, art school, and Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York. She has over 15 years of experience from working in the apparel industry. She has designed and product developed award-winning technical products for international brands like Haglöfs, Salomon, Peak Performance, Helly Hansen, Lundhags and many more. She has also launched and run two own brands.
Klas is an IT engineer with a Master of Science degree from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and ENST in Paris. With over 15 years experience in project management, business development, tech, e-commerce, and running start-ups in an international environment. His background includes working as senior project manager for Europe’s largest workwear company, as well as starting up two clothing brands.
They have lived in Los Angeles & New York in the US, Paris & Annecy in France, Gothenburg & Stockholm in Sweden, and Romania. Their studio is now located in an old porcelain factory in the archipelago outside of Stockholm, Sweden. They work online, and the world is their workspace.
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